Dr. Surendra Prasad - USP Alumni Network



Name : Dr. Surendra Prasad
Country : Fiji

Why did you choose your field of study? Even though I had never taken Physics at high school (simply because there was no teacher at Khalsa College, when I was a student there (1970-1973), I was always fascinated by Physics and thus chose to do a science programme.
Briefly reflect on your student life at USP? Very enjoyable, these were my formative years, and I enjoyed the friendships I made, sports, cultural activities, and mixing with all types of students and staff.
Greatest achievement[s] as a student Won the ICI Book prize as the best science student in 1975, 1976
Career Highlights since Graduation: Spent over 30 years at the USP and rose to the position of Head of SPAS (1997-2000).
Who/what do you credit your success to? What inspires you? To hard and dedicated work, and to my parents, who always encouraged me to `chase my dreamsí . I come from a very poor family, (10 siblings) and my parents were living in poverty for most of their lives. We did not own any land and I had to work as a labourer to pay for my bus fare and other expenses during my school years and as a USP student.
How do you think USP helped you in your career? Well, USP has shaped my entire career and life. Everything that I am now can be credited with the USP.
Describe any challenges you face to reach where you are today and how you overcame those challenges? The biggest challenge was to believe in myself, coming from a very poor and humble background. I had to constantly remind myself that I could do as well, if not better, than anybody else. I just had to work extremely hard, which I did. I knew that, to move forward in life, I had to struggle hard during my school and university years and this I successfully did.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years (career and/or personal goals)? I may retire, but I see myself as still being an active researcher, community leader and mentor.
What advice would you give to current and future students of USP? There is no substitute for hard work, and there are no short-cuts. Work your butts off and you will find success.
Please share top three tips that you think are most important for our current students or recent graduates that will help them when starting out on their career paths. Care for your world, i.e. the environment
Make friends and enjoy your studies, be an all-rounder and not just a bookworm or nerd
Have empathy for your fellow human beings
What has your involvement been with the University since you graduated? I have spent some 32 years at the USP.
Any other information you would like to share. A lot has changed since my student days at the USP (1974-77). Nowadays, students seem to be very individualistic, self-seeking and selfish. They donít seem to me to have too much regard for the environment and for their elders.






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